Dandelion Crowns and Paper Butterflies

Clumsy

Tim yawns as he strolls through the Homestead, towards Josiah's room. He has only just woken up, about twenty minutes before breakfast, but he has already put on his usual clothes and everything.

That night, he had been puzzling over what Flore had said.

"You guys surely need some privacy."

Maybe she doesn't know anything and was it just a clumsy choice of words. But maybe the redheaded girl has figured out something.

A sting of fear and helplessness appears in Tim's heart.

What if she knows what is going on here?

What if she knows that Tim has been in love with his best friend for years?

He lets out his breath in a small puff.

Calm down, Tim, he says to himself. You and Josiah have been friends for nearly two years, and nobody has ever noticed something.

Even Josiah himself doesn't know anything.

If nobody knows anything, then why would Flore notice?

Tim closes his eyes for a moment.

Breathe in, breathe out.

It'll be all right.

He gets pulled out of his thoughts by nearly crashing into someone.

His eyes fly open and he looks right into Clint's face. The Med-Jack gives him a puzzled look.

"What were you doing?" he asks.

Tim clears his throat.

"Eh... Nothing," he replies, knowing that his ears have coloured a bright red.

Clint frowns, but shrugs then.

"If you say so," he says, already walking away.

"Clint, wait!" Tim calls him back, making the older Med-Jack turn around.

"Yes?"

"How is Josiah doing?"

The question has left Tim's mouth before he can stop it.

Clint snorts.

"He's stubborn," he says, a slight look of dislike on his face. "He doesn't want to take the painkiller. Says that he can handle pain by himself."

A small smile pulls on Tim's lips.

That sounds typically like Josiah. Only he would say something like that.

"Oh, and before I forget about it," Clint says, turning around for the second time, "there's a Gathering, tonight, right after the Doors close. We need to determine a punishment for you and Josiah. You two have to come."

Tim nods, though he is already feeling a knot in his stomach.

Wow, now that's a fair reason to hold a Gathering. A punishment for saving your best friend's life, and a punishment for trying not to get killed by someone.

"Okay," he says to Clint. "Thanks for telling me that."

"You're welcome," the Med-Jack friendly replies before walking away.

Sighing, Tim continues walking towards Josiah's room. He really doesn't feel like tonight.

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